I wrote a script to add some more branding to the tags, mostly open source projects like Python, Ruby, etc. Full disclosure : the script directly links to a bunch of favicons because I'm lazy. Here is a link to the script : Stack Overflow Tag Icon Adder

Edit : updated with some more important open-source related tags like linux, bsd, gnu, etc.

Icons! http://shog9.com/so_tagicons.png

  • Screen shot please
    – Motti
    Oct 3, 2009 at 19:15
  • Um... no Microsoft logo? No Linus image? Oct 3, 2009 at 19:25
  • 1
    is a bruce schneier image enough?
    – perbert
    Oct 3, 2009 at 20:09
  • I had the same idea. Should have checked meta.SO before I started hacking. But I didn't. Here it is the actual script part of the script is a little simpler, but the taglist is less complete.
    – Tyler
    Jan 10, 2011 at 5:18

7 Answers 7


I like it more than I thought I would :)

I added this:

  [ /microsoft/ , "http://www.microsoft.com/favicon.ico"],
  [ /windows/ , "http://www.microsoft.com/windows/Framework/images/favicon.ico"],
  [ /ie6/ , "http://www.midwesttapes.com/img/ie6.png"],
  [ /ie7|ie8|internet-explorer/ , "http://www.microsoft.com/library/media/1033/windows/images/possibilities/offers/icon_ie.gif"],
  [ /j2me/ , "http://java.com/favicon.ico"],
  [ /word/ , "http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/common/images/icons/office2007/word2007.gif"],
  [ /excel/ , "http://www.microsoft.com/library/media/5129/nz/digitallife/images/product/officeicon07-excel.gif"],
  [ /office/ , "http://it-soft-sac.com/cursos/images/products/icons/ofice0307.png"],
  [ /sql-server/ , "http://it-soft-sac.com/cursos/images/products/icons/sqlserver.png"],
  [ /web-development|css/ , "http://www.w3.org/Icons/WWW/w3c_home"],
  [ /postgres/ , "http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/29/Postgresql_elephant.svg/40px-Postgresql_elephant.svg.png"],
  [ /security/ , "http://home.comcast.net/~SupportCD/Images/Bruce_Schneier.gif"],
  [ /prototype/ , "http://www.prototypejs.org/images/fav.png"],
  [ /linux/ , "http://www.managenergy.tv/metv/images/linux_icon.gif"],
  [ /^mac/ , "http://www.winterwolves.com/images/mac.gif"],
  [ /osx/ , "http://eina.sourceforge.net/img/download-osx.png"],
  [ /apple|iphone/ , "http://movies.apple.com/trailers/disney/toystory3/assets/images/apple.jpg"],
  [ /google/ , "http://www.google.com/favicon.ico"],
  [ /chrome/ , "http://www.google.com/tools/dlpage/res/chrome/images/chrome-16.png"],
  [ /opera$/, "http://www.opera.com/favicon.ico"],
  [ /unicode/, "http://unicode.org/favicon.ico"],
  [ /\.net/, "http://www.bitsontherun.com/static/uploads/images/net.png"],

  [ /ponies/ , "http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4f7c0c43b0fb87f905d369d42d2667ac?s=128&d=identicon&r=PG"],

That looks like

alt text

  • Note that some of the images might be copyrighted and might come from volatile locations.
    – perbert
    Oct 3, 2009 at 19:57
  • 7
    Awesome additions. Quite a bit of free advertising for Microsoft. Since this is actually a feature request, I think only the open source projects should get this for free. Make the rest pay!
    – steveth45
    Oct 3, 2009 at 20:48
  • @steveth45: of course, but this wont go into the real SO like this, only people willing to use this will add them, so it won't be advertising in a true sense. If anyone wants to see the MS tags, let them. I'm tempted to use a0.twimg.com/profile_images/191826740/Devil_normal.gif for [ie6] :)
    – perbert
    Oct 3, 2009 at 20:54
  • 1
    I noticed some duplicate icons, those things on the left are regular expressions, so /ie7|ie8|internet-explorer/ could be used to save space. I don't have enough rep on meta to edit the answer.
    – steveth45
    Oct 3, 2009 at 23:35
  • @steveth45: corrected :)
    – perbert
    Oct 4, 2009 at 4:55
  • @steveth45: if you really wanted to save space, why not /ie[67]|internet-explorer/ ? Oct 4, 2009 at 9:00
  • 1
    @Charlie Somerville: in any case, it would be /ie[78]|internet-explorer/. ie6 has its own icon (the classic plain IE icon) to be easily replaced by a bullseye or a depiction of the devil :)
    – perbert
    Oct 4, 2009 at 15:05
  • /mac/ should be /^mac/, currently it matches 'emacs'. Also /.net/ should be /\.net/, as the "." matches anything, so it currently matches "arpa-net" (wish this was a tag).
    – TJ L
    Oct 5, 2009 at 18:14
  • Yeah, there are some others that need changing. I'll update when I get home.
    – perbert
    Oct 5, 2009 at 18:39

I hate to sound all lawyerish - but I can see two problems with the script (were it adopted more commonly):

  • if corporations etc get their icon added for free, there would be little incentive to sponsor a tag; and since I value SO, I have to respect that they need paying sponsors. But I think as an advert for tag sponsorship it works very well "your logo could be here".
  • a little less likely, but there can also be issues with using people's logo without their permission; partly it would come down to whether you are applying "fair use", or whether you are using it for commercial gain. Arguably in this case (for the SO site owners) the latter would apply. It would be pretty stupid to argue this case, but sometimes companies (and legal in particular) qualify.

From a MSO perspective, I think this also means we need to be very careful about tag edits (merge in particular). Tag merges have slowed down significantly, so I don't think this is a biggie, but just something extra to check...

  • 4
    But it isn't part of Stack Overflow. It's a private script that qualifies as fair use Oct 4, 2009 at 9:03
  • "But is isn't part of Stack Overflow": Hence my line "were it adopted more commonly"; "that qualifies as fair use" - that is perhaps a tricky assertion... Oct 4, 2009 at 9:09
  • 5
    1) they are merely links. Isn't hotlinking the reason of the Internet? If you really don't want people using your images on the Internet, don't serve them. 2) Most of the original images were from open source projects, I were the one that added some MS and others icons, from not necessarily the most correct places. 3) You have to be very litigious to be warming up your lawyers because of a favicon! 4) This is in my opinion a proof of concept to see what would SO look like if tag icons were broadly adopted. It surely did change my perception.
    – perbert
    Oct 4, 2009 at 15:15
  • @voyager - OK; most of that seems to relate to my second point - I'd be more concerned about the first ;-p Oct 4, 2009 at 20:29
  • The first point is I, believe, right on target, hence I didn't feel I needed to waste precious comment-chars. Big Bucks Corporation (tm) wouldn't get free advertising, but this script will exist as a sort of preview of what you could get. :)
    – perbert
    Oct 4, 2009 at 21:48

Looks really nice with my icon amplification script:

alt text http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6872/screenvj.png


Wait, I'm sorry, but, no WAFFLES!?!?!

Waffles http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/8363/metawaffles.png

  • 11
    Uh oh - this is like politics; you have to treat the factions the same; if you iconify the waffles but not the pancakes, you are asking for an all-out flour war. Embargoes; flour-bombs, the works. The syrup people are far less prickly; you can get away with ignoring them, as long as you don't mind finding something sticky (yet sweet tasting) in your shoes. Oct 4, 2009 at 8:38
  • 1
    An all-out flour war is definitely bad. Didn't the flour wars involve human sacrifices? (Or maybe I'm thinking of the flower wars.)
    – mmyers
    Oct 5, 2009 at 19:02

I hate it.

It is geek eye candy and rots the brain.

A here-and-there placement of icons, especially if it is bring in cash to SO, and hence keeping SO from looking like the-site-that-will-not-be-named, is OK. But an excess is not desirable.

Elsewhere someone likened this kind of stuff to making SO look like Time Square, Piccadilly Circus, or whatever...and I agree. Imagine a SO with 99% of tags with icons...yuck.

One of the greatest redeeming features of SO is the minimalist-yet-powerful user interface. Zillions of icons in a smallish space is just plain messy and will degrade that. So, I won't be using your script.

Except for ponies. I like ponies. Do you have a script just for that?

TheTXI http://lanai.dietpizza.ch/images/stack-overflow-omg-ponies.png


Nice, although I like my grease monkey script that just removes the icons completely.

  • 1
    What happens when you have them both? :o
    – juan
    Mar 15, 2010 at 18:00

Optimized the regexp testing - and added the SO icon to the tags you mark 'interesting' (at least on the pages that SO publishes them)

Revision posted on userscripts

  • Caching the results for each unique tag is probably a good idea, especially as the number of regex's increases. +1
    – steveth45
    Oct 5, 2009 at 21:02

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